Country park’s future in doubt

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A COUNTRY park will be ‘moth-balled’ if nobody takes on responsibility for it, according to a town councillor.

Last month, Brandon Town Council expressed an interest in running Brandon Country Park with Suffolk County Council looking to offload the 32-acre site.

Despite the show of interest, the town council is yet to formally decide whether they should take on the running of the park.

At a meeting of Brandon Town Council on Monday night, Cllr Tony Simmons warned that if councillors did not agree to take on the site, it could be left to rot.

He said: “Without maintenance it would become dangerous and have to close.

“If we don’t take this opportunity Suffolk would not keep it on, they would lay off the staff and it would be mothballed.”

The town council is currently looking for an outside group to run the country park on its behalf, with expressions of interest from Anglia Community Leisure and Keystone Development Trust received so far.

Tony Bass, chief executive of ACL, staked his claim for running the park at a meeting of the town council on September 12.

Keystone will present its case on October 20.

Despite impressing councillors with his proposals, Mr Bass was unable to provide costings for running the park, according to Cllr Reg Silvester.

Cllr Silvester was joined by Cllr Norman Vant in raising concerns about taking on the park.

Cllr Vant said: “We would be taking on an open-ended commitment and it is not a very safe position to be in.

“We seem to be taking on all Suffolk’s liabilities for all the things it doesn’t want.”

Suffolk has set a deadline of March 31 next year for a decision on the park, although that may be extended if none has been reached, according to town clerk Christine Mason.